Friday, December 29, 2006

The Half and Half Solution

Try something new for your diary or journal this year ...

If you like to have a paper based diary for recording to do lists and appointments in, but you don't seem to use all the space for each day, you have a wonderful opportunity.

This year buy a diary that gives you just a little more space per day on the page. If you used to have a week to a page, try two days to a page for example. Then, use the top part of each page to record the things you need to remember like bills to pay, appointments, friend's birthdays, shifts for work (or whatever you use a date book/diary for normally).

THEN ... use the other half of the page (or more) to record things that happen during the day. Or things you over hear, places you go, situations you observe or feelings you have as you line up in a queue for 20 mins at the bank.

By the end of the year you will have a full record of a year's worth of living - and how you felt about it. Sometimes from a planning perspective, sometimes written as you experience it and at other times when you reflect at the end of the day.

One book.

Two purposes.

New way of looking at the world.

It's ALL about Diaries now!

Ok ok ok ..... Stop the chatter about Turkey and Families now. THIS ... this little week between Christmas and New Year is THE time of year for all diary and journal writers.

We come in to our own now.

You can spot the serious diary users and journal writers at this time of the year. We speed through the shoe sales and spend most of the day around blank books, journals and new diaries. Oh those new diaries. It is such an important decision ... do you upgrade your electronic PDA? Do you revert to the old paper based day to a page? Week to a page? A4 size? Pocket size? Pretty or classy?

And that is just the way you handle your date book.

Journals take on a new meaning. So many journallers won't just keep writing in their current book. These get disbanded and discarded for new blank books to start the new year with a blank page. Oh the blank page! (More on that later in the week).

Then when you get your purchases home ... time to fondle, fill out opening pages, decorate and generally just satiate yourself with the touch of the new and blank pages ahead ... sigh ...

The week between Christmas and New Year is journal and diary week ... life is so sweet. (And better still the left over turkey is all finished!).

Nearly Time for New Year's Resolutions

Like it or not, I bet you over indulged in SOMETHING over Christmas huh?

There is a great health and wellbeing site to go to to start thinking healthy. No Excuses Gym is both kind and hard on you!

It is tough because it reminds you that there really isn't any good reason not to get fit, exercise, eat well etc etc (you can add your own failures here!). I think I am most creative when it comes to excuses not to do things I know I really want to do - and should do.

The site is kind because it doesn't say "Don't go to a Mexican Restaurant" ... instead it says "Here's what to order so you can still get out the door after eating at a Mexican Restaurant". How much better is that? Simple ways to change some habits but still not miss out on life!

This blog is written by Marcela who is totally into personal training and highly qualified by the look of it - both a PhD and Masters ... . I am NOT focussed on intense exercise or motivated by lectures on health, but I like her site. It has a sense of realism to it. Just what I need as the New Year starts. No more huge resolutions thatI know I won't keep.

Pop by and have a look at the hints about exercise, eating healthy, sleeping more (I like that one!), daily tips, interesting tid bits and information that is current and looks at the wellness debate.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas to All and To All A Good Turkey!

I'll be back writing again after Boxing Day - so have a ...

May all your pressies be great ones ... Bridget Jones's Diary

Let's hear from BJ for the last Chrismas Diary Entry ....

"12.30pm. Gift exchange was nightmare. Always overcompensate for bad presents, yelping with delight, which means I get more and more horrid gifts each year..."

So may your presents be wonderful, and IF NOT, then keep the yelping to a minimum!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Diary - Andy Warhol

Christmas Day 1980 - Andy Warhol ....

"It was the coldest day ever. And I'd been afriad to go to sleep becasue I was alone in the house. I'd like to get Nena and Aurora's brother Agosto to be a bodygaurd, although he's like only two feet high, but he's just out of Marine Corps and its "Yes Sir!" and "No, sir!"and he's great. I was on my way to work but since there was no heat I decided I couldn't. Picked up John Rienhold and we went to Sharon Hammond's for Chirstmas Dinner (cab $5). But there wasn't anybody good there."

It sounds so lame to work on Christmas Day. That's it. No blogging after Friday. (I love Christmas Eve as much as Christmas Day). None then until after boxing day.

Even writers deserve a break. Don't they? Doesn't mean my head will stop.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Diaries

I figured that in the lead up to Christmas it would be fun to look at OTHER people's Christmas Day musings in their diary ...

I find it interesting, because one of the days I most often MISS writing in my diary is actually Christmas Day. Boxing Day often starts with a list of pressies tho! There is NO WAY I will blog on Christmas Day. The computer will be off ... well and truly! Will you BLog for Christmas?

Anyway If we are to hear from other diaries - I thought it best to start with our friend Kilvert. And this diary entry also has significance for those of us living down under ... but read it no matter who you are. The last line is not what you would expect from the local parson at Christmas ...

" To-day we heard by a short telegram of the awful calamity of the burning of the emigrant ship Caspartia near the Cape of Good Hope bound for New Zealand. Four hundred and forty persons burnt in hher. One boat reached St Helena with three survivors who had lived on the flsh of their companions"

I'll try to find something more uplifting for tomorrow ...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well......... happy birthday to my BLOG that is!

I can't believe it. I started blogging twelve months ago when I started the research component to my book The New Century Notebook. It had been suggested to me that perhaps the best way to learn about blogging (its ups & downs, its addictive nature, its frustrations and fun) was to become a blogger.

It was supposed to be a short term thing.

No one warned me it was so totally addictive!

Here I am, with a 12 month old blog now, wondering what happened. No longer just about the research I am still finding my blogging voice. Still creating a blogging community around me and most definately learning the more advanced things about blogging still.

I'm here to stay. NCN Blog is here to stay. There will be some change in focus from just the NCN project ... but I ain't goin' no where!

Happy Birthday Blog!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mummy Bloggers Wanted!

I love Mummy Bloggers!

As part of the New Century Notebook Project I am now doing a mini study on Mummy Bloggers!

You know the ones ... the witty women who share their daily trials and tribulations so the rest of us parents feel half normal.

If you are a Mummy Blogger, please please please pop over to Mums@home in the Blogosphere and share the URL for your Mummy Blog so I can profile you!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

RIP Muppet Mobile

There is definately something in this Feng Shui thing ... I swear it.

When we put up our HUGE Chritsmas tree in what Feng Shui people would call our "Finance corner" of the house. I said to Stuart: "This is bad financial Feng Shui to put an artificial tree in this corner". He argued well, pointing out it is a Christmas Tree, not just any artifical plant. So we added our nativity to that corner, great lights, metallic looking decorations in silver, red and purple, and forgot the conversation really.

* Then the air conditioning broke down in our house: Bill $600+
* Excess water bill arrives (I am more disgusted that we went over our limit in these drought ridden times, than the bill to be honest): $ you don't want to know!
* Then Stuart's car needed new brakes and something done to the transmission: $1500+
*Then my car overheats and costs me unexpected coolant: $30 (small price to payI know ... but it's the point that it was unexpected in December. Who has extra money in December?)
*THEN ... my Muppet Mobile dies totally (my car, ok? Yes, it has a name!) -LOWEST quote to resurect it?: $3500

So excuse me if you don't hear from me for awhile ... I'm off looking for a LIVE tree for that corner of the house ... but with the Muppet Mobile gone I will have to walk ... and drag it home over my shoulder ...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New Skin Design Wanted!

Position Vacant!

New Century Notebook will be one year old in a dew days ... and to think I started this blog simply to experience blogging for the book! I need to seriously focus my postings, but I also want to get a new look.

That's where you come in.

I would really like a blog skin designed that more clsoely reflects the blog and me ... and I would love some recomendations about who to get to do it.

Any ideas? I know some of you have had some work done to your blogs recently, so I would love a referral. Or perhaps you are a designer and would like the challenge.

Help me out here. (Oh and thanks to Zoot for this temporary change!).

Monday, December 11, 2006

Do check out Pay Per Post ...

I have fallen for as many e-scams as the next person (give or take about a million!). So I am actually quite pleased to add a new little link to my blog (Check it out over there by the other blogging resources on the right ... no lower ... where all the icons are under my visitor numbers ... yeah there!).

As you will know there aren't many legitimate deals for making money on your blog. Well Pay Per Post is one place you can earn serious blog money . And it is perfect for any blogggers who already talk about cool sites and share resources with others. The best bit is honestly that there is no unwanted advertising on your site. If you like something, you blog about it, you get paid. There are a few restrictions ... like you have to have a cool blog approved, write regularly and not just be a sales blog of some sort. But it's dead easy and no more adsense putting whatever it wants on your site!

So click on that little banner (... over there ... LOWER ... gees do I have to go thru all that again ....)

Oh bugger ... here's a link just for you lazy ones that have had too much Chrissie cheer to be able to scroll ....

Dear Diary ...

Dear Diary ...

How do you start your journal or diary entires? Your blog entries? Have you noticed that most blogs (while they often have an alter ego attached) rarely start with a salutation of any kind.

Traditional diaries definately had a persona, and were often adressed by a name, or more generically as "Dear Diary..."

I haven't used a name or a salutation for years ... what do you do?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Roomie New Roomie New Roomie!

Come on down and meet Noi from Singapore!

Do pop over to visit Noi at 'Voicing My Thoughts' blog.

I hate choosing who to take up for renting my blogspace ... so thanks to everyone who put in a bid ... please try again next time. As a political act I am keeping the bid amount to 10 points (the minumum you can have) ...

Now ... go see Noi!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Birthday Claire

Hey there Claire.
Happy Birthday.

We all wish you were here to share a cocktail or two - tho of course you would have to make them!

I can hardly believe this picture is two years old at Christmas time. I am still taking care of your bucket ...

I still miss you, you cheeky young thing.

Rest In Peace.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Urban Legends Debunked!

Hey - wanna have some fun?
I am always looking out for interesting tid bits to add to my writing - especially in novel writing. But I also find it kinda useful to have a pocket full of interesting 'facts' to have at the ready when I am socialising at this time of the year too.

The good people at Maxim magazine have taken a set of Urban Legends and common myths and opened a "Debunkment" Section of their web page (yeah I know, I doubt that this is a real word!).

I 'borrowed' this pic of the laughing nun from their site too ... isn't she cute?

There are some Urban legends I hadn't even heard of before like ... using the words 'president' and 'kill' in one telephone conversation could lead to the US government recording your conversation (in the States obviously ... or phoning in to the States) .... and chewing gum taking 7 years to digest if swallowed ...

Hee hee - I'm not telling you if they're true or not. Go check them out for yourself!

Year Endings

The year coming to an end often moves journal writers in to a new frenzied state. Do you buy a new journal to start on January 1? Do you try to quickly fill the old one up even though it still has so many pages left? Do you just leave the last pages blank? Or - do you just keep writing as if the end of the year is nothing special at all?

Have you noticed the journals for sale as Christmas presents? There are some really lovely ones out there at the moment (no free ads from me I promise!). BLank books can be used for so many purposes ... they are worth considering as a present ...

I'm thinking I might try a new radical approach next year ... but I'll write about that later if I decide to.

And tell me ... does anyone else feel like time is speeding up as we approach the end of the year???

Fun Way To Spend On Line

I have a lovely little dirty secret people ... and whilst I realise that sharing in the blogosphere means it will no longer be secret ... it is still very very clever from a budget concious point of view.

And isn't this time of year so much about Christmas present buying?

I'm sure many of you have already learnt the beauty of doing a lot of Christmas shopping on line. I am seriously suggesting to my family that we even have 'on-line' shopping as a theme for our pressies next year. It takes the stress out of finding a car parking space that's for sure!

Now as all bloggers know, anything on line has the potential to being addictive. Therefore it stands to reason that Christmas shopping on line is a potential new addiction to add to your ever growing list.

BUT ... there is good news. The good people at Pay Per Post have a solution for this little problem (and yes this is an ad ... but it is worth thinking about ok?) . If you are willing to join the crew of people who are getting paid to blog by simply writing the occasional copy for companies you actually DO believe in... then by simply assisting companies YOU choose to advertise on blogs and by working with the PPP team, you can easily get the funds you need for your Christmas shopping addiction. I have nearly $30 US on its way to my PayPal account, which means it will already be sitting there when I want to buy on line using my Pay Pal account.

Now that is only going to cover me for one pressie this year ... but I'm already feeling good about having a full fund for 2007!

How easy is that?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Delivering Your Vision Newsletter

Christmas Pressie for all!

This is a one time offer to be on my e-newsletter mailing list, usually reserved for my life or career coaching clients. I promise that this is a 100% sale free zone, It is simply a method I use to further motivate clients I am currently coaching - and arrives by email once per month with a monthly challenge (oh and a little waxing lyrical from me!). Feel free to even just subscribe for one month to see if it's at all useful for you.

Email me through my web page by clicking on CONTACT PAMELA and filling in the contact details so I can email it to you. You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time.

Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all bloggers ...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Meet Saskia!

I have noticed that many writer's blogs are full of the dramas of writing or the business of writing. And that's not a judgement, I'm not making any kind of statement about it ... coz I do that too! But there are SO MANY wonderful things about being a freelance writer ... and one of them is meeting other writers ... so I want you to meet Saskia Walker ...

I only just met Saskia myself recently. In October this year she published a new erotica title for Penguin called Double Dare and I had the privledge of a pre copy so that I could do a review for the Erotica Authors Association. You can read what I had to say here. It's all good ...

So you can imagine my delight when invited to interview her.

I love meeting other writers and hearing how they deal with the ups and downs, and craziness of the writer's life ... and Saskia has a great blog where you can follow her musings. She writes across a few genre ... It gave me a chance to wax lyrical with someone I respect as a writer ...

I've just finished an interview with her where we had a look at strong women role models in erotica ... check it out here.

I love freelance work. I love the little journeys that I get to go on because of it.

Oh and thanks Saskia for being so cool whilst I totally ranted and raved!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Especially for the Kilvert Fans ...

Oh you have to read this ... I TOLD you this guy was a little .... well... strange ...

Remember this Kilvert guy is the local pastor in the village ... and also remember that back in 1875 we wrote and viewed the world quite differently ...

But I still think this is all a little strange ... welcome to Kilvert's World ...

"Saturday June 12
I went to see my dear little lover Mary Tavener, the deaf and half dumb child. When I opened the door of the poor old crazy cottage in the yard the girl uttered a passionate inarticulate cry of joy and running to me she flung her arms round my neck and covered me with kisses. Well. I have lived and I have been loved, and no one can take this from me"

That's it from me with regards to Kilvert ... there is a Kilvert Society if you're interested in joining ... I think I will move on to someone else's published diary next week ... I can't do much more of this one!!!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Meet My New Roomie!

New Roomie Alert!

It is my pleasure to introduce a fellow writer Jeremy Shipp from Haunted House Dressing.

He rants better than I do ... check him out!

Web Hosts and Rip Offs

Don't get ripped off when you are choosing a web hosting company ... I know I didn't have a clue what I was looking for when I first started!

If you want to read (or write) reviews about a hosting company try Lunarpages User Reviews. This hosting review site is intended to help you make an informed buying decision. Make sure you are not going to be ripped off. Read real user reviews, submit your review, and choose a good host!

The Goose and the Petticoat

Ok ok ok ! I get it ... you want more from Kilvert's diary! I succumb ok?

I have warned you before ... this guy wrote some kinky stuff so read on at your own moral risk ...

"June 9 1875 Foxham seems to be in a sad state ecclesiastically. Mrs Peglin told us that the Curate, Mr Rivett-Carnac, who walks about in a cassock, was attacked one day by their gander which tore a grievous rent in his 'pettitcoats'. He said he should tell his friends what a 'ferocious house gaurdian' Mrs Peglin kept. 'Perhaps, Sir,' suggested the old lady slyly, 'the gander was excited by some peculiarity in the dress'".

Now excuse me but I have more Kilvert to read ...

Do We REALLY Want YouTube?

I love the concept of You Tube. Most importantly it is great for those closet thespians amongst us isn't it?

Some of my favourite bloggers are using You Tube and doing a fine job I might add ... Mr Fab is but one of them!

You might like to check out the latest Master Impressionist to grace us with his presence on You Tube ... I'm not sure a cat fish impression is gonna get his guy any fame ... but there you go ... the good people at PayPerPost seem to think he's funny. Oh and you may never see your shower quite the same again!

The jury is out on this one for me ... what do you think?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Diary to Check Out ...

Come on now! Admit it! You are enjoying reading other people's diaries aren't you?

There is a little bit of voyeur in us all. There is also a little bit of exhibitionist in us all as well - so do send in your journal, diary or notebook page. You can choose to be anonymous or not!

This week's entry is from a fellow blogger ... you can see if you can work out who it is. But I'm not telling. I'm not bad with a secret most of the time.

In the email accompanying these diary pages she told me, " I stopped writing a page a day in 1991 when my 3rd baby was born, it was just too much like hard work at the time. I would say that my main blog is definately my jounal now and I've already started to use it to check on details of events within the last 3 years."

I think that many bloggers who were also diary writers are doing a similar thing ... or not?

If you can't read it from the picture below - just click on it to make it larger ...

Is The Blogosphere Your Alternative Reality?

Think about it. Or don't think about it if you have any kind of mental illness please - this is a health warning.

Is virtual reality actually an alternative reality for you?

The philosophers out there will have fun with this one.

But what do you think?

Can we please celebrate Christmas?

I don't care how we do it, but can we please celebrate Christmas this year?

I am sick and tired of the PC police trying to keep down Christmas trees, ban Santa, stop carol singing and taking baby Jesus out of the nativity.

I think we should celebrate all kinds of cultural and religious holidays with each other ... and the revolution starts now with Christmas 2006!

One way to get started is to send ecards to your efriends. There are some wakky ecards here if you want to check them out. A few risque ones, some silly ones, a 'Snakes on the Plane' take out using Santa's sleigh - and even a baaaaaaaaaad Santa! Oh and that dog pic up there is one if theirs too! While we don't have snow in Australia - this applies to sandcastles at the beach at this time of year too!!!

If you check out their web site, do have a look at their Birthday card service. If you never want to miss a birthday or special occassion again you can have all those occasions listed and a personalised card sent to the people you want on whatever dates you choose. Easy huh! It might help some of you keep your New Year's Resolution to keep in touch with others!!! They have a 30 free trial, so trial it before Christmas to make the most of the freebies (after that its like $13.99 or something).

Now get on with the Christmas revolution!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Letters ...and muses

For many people, writing a letter to a friend (or an email) can serve as a journal entry.

Sometimes, receiving an email or letter from someone you write to can feel like a response from your journal too.

Let's never forget the power of writing to someone.

I love email - but I hope it never replaces picking up a pen and free writing to people we love ... or people who are our muses ...

We have much to loose if we do ...

If You Are Still Trying to Get Your Blog To Pay For Itself....

Hey there! Still trying to make some cash to pay for your blogging exploits?

Funny thing this blogging hobby. I know there are plenty of you who are trying to make a living through your blogs somehow. It's not easy is it? While I think some blogs have great merchandising appeal, I know mine isn't one of them. I have even stopped the whole adsesne thing. I didn't like not having control over the ads that were coming up and it was kinda getting tacky!

There is a new-ish kid on the block you might like to try out. Pay Per Post - is actually that! They like to advertise on blogs that actually have some kind of style about them. Blogs with good writing, regular posting and some content that might actually interest people. So you need to have a really cool blog to get on board.

Once you are on board though you do have the opportunity to actually choose what goes on to your page, by choosing which things you might write about. And yes, they do pay per post as the name suggests.

It's up to you ... but I think its one of the more 'sure things' around at the moment for those of you looking to get paid to blog. Check them out.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The Writer's Life

Oh my head hurts. I can't turn it off. I'm not functioning in the real world too well right now.

To be honest, while I am waiting for the last of the surveys to come in for New Century Notebook, I am working on something totally different. But my head has also recently gone back to my work of fiction. It is something I prefer to work on during the summer months - due to it being set in a beach house and all that kinda makes sense.

So there goes my head. Sometimes going crazy with the work I am writing at the moment. Sometimes wondering how I am going to picture New Century Notebook when I go through the surveys all in one hit. Sometimes just damn crazy sitting on the front verandah of a beachhouse that has been in my mind for years - but I have never seen.

Someone tell me that writers aren't crazy?

Yeah, I thought not.

Can't honestly tell me that can you?

Well that's it then. I am going back to the beachhouse for a nap ...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Only a Few Days Left ...

This is all a little scary. At the end of this month, I will no longer be accepting survey responses for New Century Notebook Project (see link on my sidebar if you wish to do one before it's too late!).

This is scary because much of the new focus on the book will be determined by what you have said in your surveys to me. It is scary becasue there is this huge unknown before me. It is scary because it means I am entering a new stage of the book writing.

Writing has its stages and each one has its ups and downs. Reading all the surveys as they have come in has been fun ... now having to analyse and categorise them all is going to feel like hard work.

Oh well ... no pain no gain!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Donate a Page Of Your Diary

Time to come out of the closet.

I am collecting journal and diary samples for The New Century Notebook Project.

I would love to have a collection of diary pages to include in the book and on this blog ... and YOURS would be fantastic.

There are two ways you can participate.

You can email me a scanned page from your journal to or

You can post me a page to Pamela @ PO Box 135, Leederville, Western AUSTRALIA 6903.

Do let me know if you wish to remain anonymous or not. It is your choice what name you are (or aren't) known by. Oh and the small print is that when you send me your page it is a gift to me and if it ends up in the book then the Copyright is then with me (Sorry guys ... I have to cover this stuff!).

Click on picture to enlarge for reading.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Just to protect myself ....

Hey and before someone comments and swears at me for speaking ill of the dead ... here is proof Kilvert was a grumpy old man! This is ALL that was in his entry for the day ... and I mean ... how poorly could children have behaved in Victorian times? This man is a Reverend for goodness sakes ...

"Monday, 16 February 1874
Greatly troubled by the licentiousness of the school children, especially Harriet Ferris, Mary Grimshaw and Lucy Halliday."

Come on now ... I reckon that statement would make it fair to perhaps even suggest he was mysoginist (& I reckon he was ... I could tell you some stories from his diary I tell you!). If you are gonna put someone down like these poor lassies ... at least tell us what they did wrong!!!!!!!!

The man is rather too fond of Hannah H's parsnip wine!

Read from Kilvert's Diary ...

I am now on a serious roll. Reading old journals and diaries. Finding them in garage sales and second hand book shops. Asking everyone I meet to rip out a page of their diary for me to kee, scan , analyse and write about ...YES I WILL BE ASKING YOU FOR YOURS NEXT!!!!!!!!!!

I am not quite at the point where I meet new people and say "Hi I'm Pamela may I have a page from your journal?" ... well not quite yet ... I have thought about it!

Today I wanted to share a section from Francis Kilvert's diary ... he was a Reverend in Victorian times ... due to the age of the book I am assuming it is out of copyright so I may regularly quote from this man. His very simple descriptions paint quite disturbung pictures (and I suspect he was a rather grumpy old man!!!).

"Tuesday January 20 1874.

Visited John and Hannah Hatherell. Hannah was telling me about an execution. Two young men of Bremhill named Powney saw the mother of the murderer striding across the fields to be in time to see her son hung."

The lesson? NEVER think that even simple descriptions in your blog or journal are simple. How many emotions and pictures does that short entry conjure up? Wow.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Warning: This is an addictive and catching activity.

Journalling should come with its own health warning. Not only is it addictive, it is also catching.

I spent time with a good friend yesterday. She used to call herself a non journaller. This differentiation is important in my friendships. If you are a journaller I will talk about journalling with you for absolute hours. If you aren't a journaller, and you don't want to expire from boredom, it is best to tell me you don't journal.

"I don't really keep a journal", I remember her saying to me more than once in our friendship.

I accept that in a friend. They don't have to journal.

Then a year or so ago she wrote a great book, it included an exercise using a notebook to write certain things in. I smiled. That's journalling you see? Call it what you like. It's the same thing.

Still, she said to me: "I don't really journal". But when I visit her at her office, she has notebooks she calls different things. She covers them, she categorises them, she uses them to record things in. I smile.

I gave her a present at the beginning of the year. It was a blank book. The second one I have given her. She uses both for very particular purposes. But she still doesn't really journal, she tells me. I smile.

This morning she rang me, after some serious conceptualisng work we did yesterday. In the telephone conversation she said: "I might start journalling that".

I got excited. Another convert. She may have always written in a notebook, in a style that was or wasn't a journal to a purist. She now was using the language of a journaller.

I told you it's catching. However you look at it, it's catching.

So do you journal - but call it something else? What names do you have for the activity that might just be journalling?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Is this your Journal?

I am obsessed with the whole journal thing, I admit that ok? Now that I have admitted it ... you will insitinctively understand why I would buy an old diary or journal (if it's been written in) when I scour through second hand bookshops.

This diary page (opening page) is from such a find. It is a Children's Diary with dated pages and written by a young woman in1990.

It says: "This diary was meant for 1989 so the dates of ocassions may be different so I am using for 1990" [sic]

In the meantime let's see who this one belonged to once ... You had friends called Jodie, Sohpie and Lousie and you had a serious crush on Alex ...
Is it yours?

If not who's is it? This kind of thing totally facinates me.

I'm going to be asking for donations of journal pages soon ... so go through your journal and see if there is a page you are willing to rip out and send me or scan and send through. Some are for my research, but I will attempt to post one aweek on New Century Notebook too ...

Are you brave enough to have a page of your journal on display?

This IS your last chance! Be infamous!

Wow. This is a really scary moment people! I am closing the New Century Notebook Survey on journal and blog writing at the end of December ...

And I would really really really love to have your story ... I have over 800 survey responses (and yes I have read every one!). BUt you know what? For no particular reason other than I like round numbers, wouldn't it be great to have over a 1000?

If you haven't already done the survey then click here.

You KNOW you want to be part of the New Century Notebook Project don't you? :-)

If you prefer a shorter version of the survey you can click here. When you get there just click on JOURNAL WRITING SURVEY and there is a tiny version of the survey for those of you who are busy blogging!

Lsst chance to be in the book guys ... come on down!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

When you DON'T write in your journal ...

Wow ... not sure what happened there for awhile but I had a break from doing too much blogging, and I also note that my journals are a bit thin on the ground too! You have to wonder if it is just that there was too much other life happening to have the time or desire to reflect on it ... but that isn't my usual style.

So when is it that you DON'T write your blog or journal??? I think there might actually be a key in that question ....

Friday, October 27, 2006

Journal Endings

For most of my students this is now the end of the semester and academic year. This means handing in your journals too!

My last piece of advice is to make sure that you treat your journal like any otehr assignment. Pop on a cover page, put it in a presentation folder and make sure it looks neat and tidy for your reader. They will appreciateit when they have 120 to read!

It is also a nice touch to write a final entry (whether youa re asked to or not). This isn't about adding marks, but more about having a sense of finishing a product.

And if you enjoyed the journal process then by all means join the many journallers who write regularly about all kinds of things, in all kinds of ways. You can be more creative when you know it isn't for a mark!

Happy end of semester.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Write the Day You Wish

Waht would you write in your journal in the morning, if you KNEW that what you wrote would be what happened?

It's an interesting thought isn't it? If you believe that your thoughts determine the experiences you have, then how powerful might it be to write your journal with all the things you wish for in your day ahead.

You could even write it as if the day had already happened.

Hmmm ... what would I wish for? What would you wish for?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Journals are a place to relax ... or not ...

Your journal can be anything you like. Anything. You might draw, paste, scribble, plan, write lists, write fiction ... or a combination of these and many more techniques.

Your journal doesn't have to be some special format. It only has to work for you.

So perhaps you DO write/keep a journal now I have expanded the definition of a journal for you?

I was talking to a goal orientated, organised 18 year old yesterday ... she told me she didn't keep a journal. "But I have a notebook I write eveything in" ... she explained ... every trip I have planned, each to do list, my lists of everything.".

This is her tool to write in and record parts of her life ... is that not what a journal does?

The lesson for today? There is no need to start your journal pages with a date and "dear Diary ..." There is only a need to make it work for you ....

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Day Dreaming is Hard Work!

Day dreaming is hard work. Don't let anyone tell you any different - please.

I feel strongly that we spread the word ... that the whole world learns to understand that for writers, journallers, and generally all creative types, day dreaming is hard work and an essential daily activity.

Think about it. Just a little. If the great inventors, writers and philosophers didn't sit under trees, look out to sea or even stare in to open space ... would we have a theory of gravity, so many fantastic novels, electricity or microwave ovens? I think not.

Day dreaming is the process of free thinking. A process which clears your mind of barriers and 'why not's' and re-fills your mind again with a perfect world and sometimes, just sometimes, the solution to how to achieve the perfect world.

Day dreamers unite. We need global action to promote our worthy cause.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Look Good Online

Hey we all want to look good right?

Well one kind blogger (who wants to remain anonymous) has been following the "who reads your journal" theme this month, and told me about new recruitment practices where a recruiter will check out applicants profiles on line and use this information to determine their employability!

As an HR professional I find this a little sneaky ... after all we all have private lives which we are allowed to keep from potential employers because in most developed countries there are strict privacy laws which prohibit using personal information on applicants UNLESS they have provided it. And we are all allowed to have a life out of work, that doesn't determine our professional standing ... but then I am often a little naive ...

Now I am the first one to suggest not using your hotmail or gmail email address on your resume if it is something like ... but it looks like you need to do more than that these days ...

But wait ... there's help!

You can improve your on line image by taking some of the advice in this article ... phew!

When People Read Your Personal Journal...

When people read your personal journal ...what are they learning about you anyway?

The theme this past couple of weeks has been the concept/issue of people reading your private journal. For bloggers, we face this every time we post an entry. You can tell the people who have had their share of nutters leaving strange comments or sending emails because they are either very guarded or sometimes they even just say things like "nutters need not comment" when they say something they know readers will react to.

So the blogosphere already deals with the issue of reduced privacy. And of course you never know who is reading you on here ... we have seen bloggin friends sacked for their blogging, disowned by family and friends ... the list goes on. Same rule applies to both blogs and more traditional journals though I reckon ... if you read it ... you take it on yourself to accept what you read. If you don't like it. Don't read it. Easy really.

But what about someone reading your personal thoughts you had written only for you ....? Well once again people who do that are really not nice people in my book. HOWEVER should they read your journal. Smae rule applies. You take what you read. It is like being able to read people's thoughts. Do you REALLY want to know what people think ... honestly ... all the time...

Personally? I prefer to think I am practically perfect in everyway ... and NOT know what people think ... unless I choose to ask. And asking is by far the best way to find out what someone thinks about you or anything else. Reading diaries and journals is a waste of time ...

And if you read mine? Remember I am a writer and I write as much ficiton in my journal as the truth! HA! That'll confuse you!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Are Journals Really Private?

Ok ok ok. I get it. This theme is obviously hitting a spot with many readers.

I have had emails from people who are sure the FBI is watching them via their personal diary blog. Other emails from people assuming I asked the question about reading diaries because they thought I was promoting it as an activity. Emails from people with stories about reading journals or having their journals read.
One would be forgiven for thinking that reading of personal journals is an epidemic.
I don't like that.

Personal blogs are one thing. If you put it on the 'net it's fair game. And we are all learning that employers, family, the media, the law enforcement agencies will all use what you write to hold it against you if you are being a naughty blogger. We don't need warning for that.

However. As one person commenting on the last post questioned ... do you ever really 'accidentally' come across someone's journal?

So unless someone choose to share it with you ... do you think we could all just keep our curiosity to ourselves? Or is that asking too much?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reading Other People's Journals

Some questions to ponder ...

Is there ever a time when it is appropriate ... or 'ok' to read someone else's journal?

Would you ever read a journal you came across by accident? In any circumstance?

What would intrigue you about someone else's journal?

Do you mind other people reading your journal?

Should a journal be secret at all costs ... even if reading it might uncover information which would assist another person?

Be honest here ... comment anonymously if you like ...

How much of a voyeur are you? Are there times and cicumstances where that is ok?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Pens & Stuff!

I figured it was time for more news from the surveys!

So many people responded about the tools they used to write their journals and blogs with.

Journal writers sometimes said they just used whatever pen was available ... but many people responded as much about what pen or other tools they used to write their journal as they did regarding what kind of journal or blank book they wrote in.

I've raved on about my purple pen obsession before on this blog so I will save you the rant and rave, but in doing this research I discovered that I wasn't the only one. Some people had specific pens for their journal only. Others used coloured pens, pencils and yes, crayons. One journaller told me all about the special ink pen from their grandfather that was used for their journalling - which meant the paper in the blank books they bought had to be able to take ink from a fountain pen.

Bloggers had their obsessions too. Like only blogging on certain computers - a few people said they would never blog on a public computer unless they really had to. Others talked about trying out blogging from their mobiles and hating the experience.

Daily habits are fun to learn about ... it really is a little peek in to the way we all make our ordinary days extroidinary.

I might go buy a new purple pen today ... just coz I can!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Back To Basics

The New Century Notebook Blog Reverts To Basics!

After an enforced break due to blogger beta problems ... I've had some time to review the whole reason for the being of this blog. To paraphrase some stuff Paul has been writing about ..."the unexamined blog is not worth blogging about"!

This blog started as a way of experienceing blogging ... which I was really new to. Why did I want to experience a new addiction you might ask? Well it is all related to the research I am doing on journal writing and blogging ... all of which will be turned in to a book by the same name as this blog over the Australian Summer 2006-2007.

You can join this research by sending me a response to my blogging and journal writing survey in an old post ... right here ... This is getting to be just about your last chance to contribute now ... The research is going really well and I am learning so much about how OTHER people write their journals and blogs. I love hearing about it so please send me your ideas!

This blog has also been a source of information about journals and blogging in the past ... I am getting a clear message to continue this (and not just from Uni students of mine!).

In between? There is the occassional mad rant and rave about life in the writer's world. There is a need to rant somewhere!

In fact blogging and ranting kind of go hand-in-hand don't you think?

The Marking of Student Journals ...

For non students in the blog community, please be patient with me while I do one more entry on journals for students. Due to the lack of entries while blogger was down I feel a little behind and sincerely want to make sure my own students get some more hints and ideas ... after all I read their journals every week ... it is only fair they get an insight in to something about me in return ...

a) Yes - it is a privlege to mark student papers at the best of times ... but it is especially a privleged position to makr journals.
b) Yes - it does affect how you teach the unit. Over years of marking journals for the same unit, it has helped me to evaluate my own progress.
c) Yes - I keep a 'teaching journal' to assist me along with the unit too ... it works for me. In the end, what works for me improves the student experience (I hope!).
d) Yes - I know that writing a journal and having someone mark it is a difficult task. It can make you feel vulnerable. I also know that for many students, writing a journal is about par with going to the dentist. I also know some students love it. Most rewarding? Are the students who tell me (sometimes years later) that they now keep a regular journal.
e) Yes - Sometimes when you write something down in your journal it will affect how you feel about it. That might be a positive thing. That might be a negative thing. It is, at the very least, an adventure. See it for the adventure it is ... not therapy. Therapy is what you do with a therapist.
f) No - I don't subscribe to writing anything you don't want to disclose. The journal exercise gives you total control over what you want to include. Keep the power with you.

Remember ... you are only being marked on your ability to reflect and demonstrate applied knowledge and learning. You are not being marked on your opinion.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Erotica Authors Association

For those of you trying your hand at writing Erotica, or even if you are just writing some steamy scenes in your creative writing (or journals!), do stop by the Erotica Authors Association web site. It is full of useful links and resources. If you are looking for some new titles to read you can access exclusive offers there too.

I've just started reviewing books for the Association and completed my inaugural author's interview for the Association... an interview with a really interesting couple who are aithors & experts on Tantric Sexuality (Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson).

You don't have to become a member to use this site ... so once again another useful free resource to help with writing ...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Student Journals - Presentation

So sorry about the lack of entries guys! As you know blogger was giving me a hard time. I thopught students deserved the first real entry back ...

Journal presentation ... this is an issue often raised, but with no easy answer other than "Check with the lecturer invovled". Referencing, whether you can hand in a blank book you have been writing in instead of a word processed doc etc are all real questions. I have students in my Interpersonal Skills class who do some really creative stuff with their journals to get their point across. I absolutely love this ... but some lecturers (even for the same subject) might not. So always ask. We're a funny bunch of people us lecturers. Never assume we will all want the same thing.

You know those quasi journals ... the ones that are really mini assignments. They should look like any normal assignment in presentation. Be careful of those "journal" assignments that are really a reading log or similar assignment and thus no different that many other assignments in terms of presentation and use of the first person etc etc ...

ASK. It is rare that a lecturer is found biting a student for asking questions!!!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Welcome Me Back!

I'm Back!
You would not believe me if I told you I had won lotto and given up writing would you?

What actually happened is that I was silly enough to say YES to the Blogger Beta trial and as a consequence I was not able to access my blog in any way, shape or form for a few weeks.

How irriated was I?

Hmmm ... so irritated that during the summer break I will be going to wordpress I think and linking this blog to my web page ... but until then I have much work to do!

So what did I learn from this experience? (Don't forget I see every single thing that happens to me as fodder for one of my writing projects!!!). I learnt that a paper based journal never fails to be ther for you! I learnt not to trust blogger/goggle. I learnt that when I am not blogging I get a lot of OTHER things done!!!

For now I am pleased to be back and will get on with the old blogging network with great excitement! (I will try and see if I can publish the many comments waiting to be ok'd!)

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Walk In The Sun ...

Dear Diary ...

There is nothing like a wander in the sun on a winter's day ... It clears the heart, creates a creative space for your soul, and gives your writing a great boost.

Perth winter's are remarkably mild ... and days like today are many.

Kind of a blessing really.

I'm taking the rest of the day off to write. It's what I do best.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

SO ... when do we get protective over what we write?

Copy right and owning ideas has been a bit of a theme around me this last couple of weeks ...

I really believe that what we write doesn't belong to any of us in particular. As soon as you write it, people read it and will make of it what they will in a way that works (or not!) for them.

I do think that those of us trying to make a living out of writing have the right to protect our works though ...

So where does that really leave my opinion.

I'm confused.

Past Journal Entry

When you are busy with working ... there is nothing like day dreaming about being on holidays having a break ...

When I looked back at an old journal, I found exactly that feeling ... (2001)

"I feel like I am really on holidays this week and it's great. No plans, sleeping in, afternoon naps reading, and just going around and doing what I feel like. It could be seen by some to be a boring holiday. But it's just what my soul needs."

And it didn't get any more exciting obviously as this is what I said just a few days later ... (I was at the end of a really hard working year and was Managing an organisation in the middle of a lot of change!)

"I'm still really enjoying being on holidays. Taking it a day at a time. Lying in in the mornings. Having time to do a few things around the place. Spending time on my own and with others."

And just because I thought I was slow at learning how to be on holidays ... a few days later I write ...

"I feel like I am finally getting the idea of how to be on holidays! I'm enjoying a clean house, lying in, time on my own, time with friends, doing what I want"

You know what? From reading this I think all I need to do is sleep in and I will get that holiday feeling back again!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Reading it back ...

Anji had a great idea for her blog today ... reading an old diary entry (or two) and mentioning them on her blog ... but then again Anji Patchwork often has brainwaves! I'll copy later in the week when I have more time .... *sigh*

What's it like to mark journals?

This was an intersting question posed by one of my University students today ... For someone who loves journalling, is researching journal writing and writing a book about journals and blogs you would think that I had perhaps considered this question before now wouldn't you? Well I hadn't really ... and I have been pondering it since I was asked this morning.

What came out of my mouth when I was answering was ...
"I feel so privleged"
... and nothing could be truer. It is really a privlege to get to know your students more individually through what the express in their journals ... it gives you a better chance of getting your teaching content just right for that particular class too.

Most of all, journal reading when students grow throughout the semester is incredibly rewarding. And I learn so much through reading them too.

I DO find it difficult to allocate a mark to them. I have no trouble scribbling all over them with comments, and sometimes have to stop myself - it is just that they are always so interesting. But when it comes to quantifying a mark ... one someone's JOURNAL? I do struggle with that, and always refer back to the guidelines from the beginning of semester when I want to give everyone 100% just for tacking the whole exercise!

I know for myself, when I included my personal journal excerpts in my thesis ... I was a little scared of showing these to my academic supervisors ...but they modelled it well for me .. they stayed reasonably objective about the things I raised in my journal, guided me softly and showed intense respect ... so I had good teachers myself I suppose...

It is a task I do with great respect for each student ... and by the end of the semester it is usually with great pride too ... but don't tell them I said that ... they'll think I'm really a softie ...

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Student Journals - Linking to What You Are Reading

Unless you are writing a totally creative journal for your assessment, there will be a requirement to reflect on what you are reading.

In fact, quite often what is called a journal is actually a reading log. So once again, make sure you know what your lecturer is after.

So how do you link to what you are reading? If you are having problems, start with giving an honest opinion of a chapter or reading. How did you react to it? What do you think caused that reaction in you (both about yourself and the reading).

Link your feelings and experience to any set readings for the subject you are studying. And then go a step further. Compare this to how you feel about other items you have read as well. (Unless your guidelines tell you differently of course!)

Do they agree with each other? Do you feel differently about each article? Why is this?

Once again always link back to the topic at hand, what you are reading and your own epxerience and thoughts on it. And with regard to full referencing in a journal? Check with your lecturer.

Hope your semester is going well.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Ordinary Part III

I am still thinking through the whole ORDINARY thing.

And some emails from regulars has been the reason for this. Sometimes the ordinary in our day isn't quite so ordinary. It is just familiar. Take this shot for example- a building I walk past the days I lecture, at a university that has been part of my life since 1989 ... This building wasn't always there. But I pass it as if it was. And it is really quite extrordinary. But in my day? It is just a part of the landsacpe. And on a Monday or Tuesday? It's just where I lecture ... ho hum ...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Add a Little Colour

Be honest with me here. Colour does make a difference doesn't it? Whether it is the clothes you wear or the colour of the soup or milkshake you just ordered, you react to colour. You're going to do a double take when the strawberry milkshare you just ordered comes to you in a dark shade of black!

Colour therapists will tell you all kinds of exciting things about the meanings of different colours. Painters will tell you about the emotional impact of various colours. You have colours you like and dislike. You can read about that kind of stuff elsewhere on the 'net!

I'm interested in colour use in journals. What colour pen do you use? Does it matter? Do you make chages to colours on different days or for certain entries. Or perhaps you don't care and are lucky to find a pen at all!!!

This is for bloggers too ... you change your template colour ... your font colour ... you add pictures ... To what purpose? What does it change for the reader?
"I changed New Century Notebook away from a pink template when a few guys told me it was the reason I didn't have many males resonding to my survey ... and guess what? It worked!"
Then we come to paper and pictures. Do you use coloured paper? Or does the colour of the journal cover itself influence you? Hmmm yeah ... you never thought about that did you? Everytime you pick up your journal, how it LOOKS (and in particular the colour on and in it) influence you. In some small way ... but they impact ... I am sure of this.

I'm writing about this in my journal this week ... so for those of you looking for creative inspiration here ... maybe you want to think about colour and journalling too ...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Another one bites the dust!

Aha! We have another blogging addict joining the fold! Visit Toni at Fetish For Food - no matter what your fetish is! Worth a look ... and she has a radical idea of the four food groups worth arguing about.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Student Journals - Analysis

Don't ever make the mistake of thinking "this is a diary assignment ... that means I can just write whatever I like." As any self respecting tertiary student knows, lecturers are always looking for 'something'. I can almost gaurantee you that the 'something' is most often linked to analysing, reflecting and pulling together what you read, see, feel and experience in such a way that you can demonstrate understanding and application of the topic at hand.

Most student diary/journal assessments include an element of analysis. So despite the label of dairy or journal, this assessment rarely means you are off the academic hook. Like last week's entry mentioned ... it is important to make sure you cover what the lecturer/University/college want from you. Do be clear about format and level of analysis by asking your lecturer.

So what is the key here?

The journal assessment is usually set becasue the lecturer really wants to hear your opinion. They want to know what YOU think about the topic at hand. They want applied thinking about the topic at hand clearly DEMONSTRATED. This means that your entries need to refer to what you are reading (go so far as to show off your broad reading on the topic - if appropriate).

A journal rarely asks for a description of what you are reading (or if it does this will usually be a small component of the journal and thus a small percentage of mark allocation). The person reading the journal should be able to understand connections you make to the material in class, your readings and your experience or the experience of others (ie other research). What does it mean to you when you put it all together? How does it change how you see the topic at hand?

In short ... the integration and analysis in your journal .... the reflection and integration of knowledge ... is where the marks are. (Not that any of you are just doing it for the marks now are you?!.)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coment Moderation

876,098,123 apologies.

I just discovered a HEAP of comments that were waiting for moderation (I missed them somehow). I have not hit the publish button and aplogise if you think I had rejected ya! I love comments so would never do that. (
Well until I start getting hate mail that is!).

The Ordinary Part III

In short.
The ordinary is not boring
Embrace the ordinary
Your ordinary entrances others
Your ordinary is your story.

The Ordinary Part II

It seems that the concept of writing about "the ordinary" has raised some discussion for journal writers and bloggers. Time to take more of a look at it...

The Macquarie Dictionary describes ordinary as being "such is commonly met"; "of the usual kind" ; "customary, normal"; "the average level of quality"; "something regular, customary or usual".

It's not that hard. Ordinary events in your day are the things you do regularly. And the beauty of the ordinary? Is that 'ordinary' for me is going to be different for every other person out there.

Why do you think personal blogs get read so widely? It is about finding out about other people's ordinary lives. Taking a peek ...

So what have other's said about the ordinary?
  • On how the ordinary is actually an important part of our lives (if not the majority for most of us!) ...
  • "The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest." Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)
  • On how the ordinary is just the begining of great things ..."Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well." Jim Rohn
  • Yet remember that because one person's ordinary is another person's extrordinary
  • ...."In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary." Wendy Magruder
So let's face up to the fact that most of our lives are ordinary ... most of the time. But that doesn't mean ordinary equals boring. Especially when read by others ... humans are naturally curious and like to peek in to the lives of others. To see what others see.

Which brings me back to journals and blogs. Write about what you know. And that is likely to be the ordinary acts and environments and events in your day. It comes across as authentic ... and in the end it's great reading. Give us a peek in to your life!

And just because I love this quote ... here's one more for the writers out there!
"If an ordinary person is silent, it may be a tactical maneuver. If a writer is silent, he is lying."
Jaroslav Seifert